#F1 Forensics: Top Drivers Lap Times Mexico


Brought to you by TJ13 contributor TOURDOG


Another one bites the dust.

Nico Rosberg was back on form this weekend. He took turn one, and never looked back.

In truth he was not that much faster than Lewis. Over the first two stints, Nico was less than a Tenth of a second faster, and thats over 30+ laps, and across both tyre compounds.

In the last stint after the safety car, Nico was able to pull another few hundredths of a seconds out of his pocket, beating Lewis by only 0.10 seconds a lap.

The most important lap ended up being #58, the first lap after the safety car ducked into the pit. Lewis had pit 4 laps before the SC, and his first two laps after the pit were both Purple. He pushed his new Mediums really hard to close the gap to Nico, and then the SC made it all pointless. Lap 58 was Lewis’s best chance to pass Nico, unfortunately both drivers made mistakes, having gone wide on separate turns. Despite his off, Nico was able to put a full second on Lewis, taking him out of DRS range immediately, and that, as they say, was that. Nico’s 0.1 second advantage kept Lewis at bay for the last dozen or so laps, and Nico took the checkered flag.

I did not bother graphing the Ferrari’s, Kimi was out very early, and Sebastian was never really in the fight.

Perez put on quite the display. He quietly went 52 laps on the Medium Tyre, and pulled off the one stop. Check out his lap times on the second stint:

Slowest time 1:25.08 (85.08) on lap 58 (first lap after SC so he was in traffic)

Lets throw that lap out. The next slowest time is  1:24.44 (84.44) on lap 26.

fastest time: 1:22.08 (82.93) on  lap 62.

Perez averaged a 1:23,62 (83.62) over 46 laps, and stayed within a 1.5 sec window on that stretch.

His times at the end of the race did not get noticably slower either. This says there was still a few laps of life left in the medium. Could Bottas have gone a full 63 laps if there had been no Safety Car? We will never know for sure, but I would say that it was plausible.

Hamilton did 28 laps on the Soft in his opening stint. His times did not vary by the end, so it looks as though the Soft had some good life in them as well.

Once again, just like Sochi last year, it appears that Pirelli went super conservative in their tyre choice. I cannot blame them. The lack of testing prior to a race on a new surface is a risky situation. No doubt Pirelli will make the softer compounds available to the teams next year.


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3 responses to “#F1 Forensics: Top Drivers Lap Times Mexico

  1. That first graph makes crystal clear just how close the two Mercs where. I must say that this is a much better experience on a desktop/laptop than on a phone.

    Great job.

  2. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so I
    decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my
    cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, superb blog!

  3. Great analysis but I think you’re playing down Nico’s epic pace. An extra tenth per lap is something every team and driver is fighting for all the time. Races are won and lost at the margins. Generally Hamilton has been the one with ‘only a tenth’ advantage over his teammate and that’s been good enough to win two championships.

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